Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we’ve prog legends with a new singer, the teaming of Lemmy and Slim Jim Phantom, a mega expanded anniversary reissue of a thrash classic and a bunch of muthatrucking New Yorkers live on DVD…
Words: Malcolm Dome
There are those who’ll tell you that without Jon Anderson Yes really shouldn’t exist. But with new vocalist Benoit David proving his worth, Fly From Here (Frontiers) is surprisingly excellent. Trevor Horn returns as producer, with Geoff Downes back on keyboards, giving the album a sound that has something of the mid-1980s, with a dash of Drama, plus a serious dollop of 21st Century vibration. It all works so well that this is actually the best Yes album for a long time.
Night Ranger are still more than capable of writing a good tune or six. So Somewhere In California (Frontiers) bristles and bustles with classic AOR goodness. An album to rank alongside some of their best 80s releases.
Raygun Rebels are a German-based trio who mix blues-rock, rockabilly and garage on Bring Me Home (SAOL). You may think the idea of a German band trying their hand at this sort of thing is a bit daft. But the groove is deep and authentic, and the album rocks along in a decent manner.
HeadCat is a combination of Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom and Daniel B. Harvey. It’s taken them a decade to follow up their debut, but Walk The Walk… Talk The Talk (Niji Entertainment Group) shows they’ve still got enthusiasm for this type of roots rock ’n’ roll. Again, this is mostly covers of classic songs from an era without which we wouldn’t have rock as we know it, but there are also a couple of cool originals. Shows what can be done when you take three highly talented and motivated individuals and set them basking in the music that inspired them.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fine Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? album from Megadeth, Capitol Records have put out a deluxe version. Not only do you get the original record, which still sounds excellent especially now it’s been remastered, but also alternative mixes, some of which are previously unreleased, and a live performance from 1987 (again never before available). There are also sleeve notes from both Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich, plus a 3D cover.
UFO’s best period (well, according to some, including yours truly) gets rightfully significant treatment on the five CD set The Chrysalis Years Volune 1L 1973 – 1979 (Chrysalis). It features everything they released during that period, plus BBC sessions and a previously unavailable live recording from the band’s first US tour in 1974. Something every fan will want to own, even if you’ve got a lot of it already in various formats.
Finally, a live DVD featuring Twisted Sister – and you know that’s gonna be tremendous. Double Live (Eagle Vision) has the band live in Long Island during 1982 and when they renited in 2001 for a benefit show in New York. Both performances underscore the fact that you never get anything but onstage supremacy from Twisted, one of the best live bands of all time. There are also new interviews with them talking about both shows.
Tags: Benoit David, Daniel B. Harvey, Dave Mustaine, Geoff Downes, HeadCat, Jon Anderson, Lars Ulrich, Lemmy, Megadeth, Night Ranger, Raygun Rebels, Slim Jim Phantom, Trevor Horn, Twisted Sister, UFO, Yes